FAQ’s About STARTING Therapy, Investment, & PolicieS


Feel free to call me, 833-HEAL-ATL ext. 2, if you reach my voicemail please leave me your name, and a brief message. Want to email? Email me: shayda@healatl.com Emails & calls are responded to within 48 hours, between the hours of 8 am - 6 pm, excluding weekends and holidays. 

what happens during an intial phone call with you?

I offer an initial 15-minute phone consult which gives us an opportunity to connect, and decide if we’d be a good fit to work together.  This is also an opportunity for you to ask any questions you may have about the therapy process. If we’re good a fit, then I’ll schedule your first session and take your personal information.  You’ll get an e-mail with a link to book a session through a secure online portal that also gives you access to all the paperwork you’ll complete before your first session.  Don’t worry – your information will be protected & it always remains confidential.

What happens in a first session with you?

Our first session together is 90 minutes and is called an ‘intake session’. I prepare for your first session by reviewing your answers to the initial paperwork you completed online.  I’ll have questions to jumpstart our conversation, and we’ll get deeper into your story and your goals for counseling.  All the while, we’re getting to know each other, and you’re getting a clearer sense of whether I am the therapist you’d like to continue exploring difficult and vulnerable topics with in therapy.

What is the investment cost in therapy?

The investment cost of psychotherapy varies depending on the provider’s level of education, licensure status, additional certifications, and area(s) of expertise.

Initial Psychotherapy Intake Session 90-minute - $200

Psychotherapy Sessions

50-minute - $135

1 hour & 40-minutes - $270

Full payment is due at the time service is rendered.

Do you take insurance?

No, I don’t accept insurance. Your insurance plan may have out-of-network coverage.  If it does, you may be able to work with me using it.  It’s super easy!  Here’s how it works: You pay me directly and I provide you with a monthly statement of services (called a superbill).  Then, you submit (e-mail, fax, or snail mail) it to your insurance company if you decide seek reimbursement through your insurance company’s out-of-network coverage.  Just to be clear, I make no guarantees that you’ll receive reimbursement from your insurance company. If you wish to seek reimbursement for our therapy sessions it is important that you contact your insurance provider and ask the following questions: Have I met my deductible for this year? Do I have mental health benefits? Can I file for reimbursement if I am seeing an out-of-network provider? What is the percentage amount I will be reimbursed?


How often will we meet?

We always meet weekly in the beginning (first month or so) in the comfort of our Atlanta office or online, and then we’ll decide together the frequency that makes sense for your lifestyle, to help you achieve your goals for therapy.

The duration of your time in therapy depends entirely on what brought you to psychotherapy, your goals, and your effort to practice what you’re working on in your daily life.  Each person takes a different path.  The idea behind holistic therapy is that personal growth is an ongoing process that never ends. I believe while therapy can be a lifelong journey for some, it can also mean inviting someone into your life for a critical period of time when you deserve the support needed to get back to your life. Therapy can be your weekly time to check in, reflect and process your day to day life, with an unbiased and supportive mental health professional. Once you reach your goals, together we’ll decide whether to start focusing on new goals or the process of saying goodbye. In some cases, clients prefer to check-in with me as needed or for monthly maintenance sessions after our initial work together ends.

I am looking for a therapist for my daughter, do you work with teens?

I work with women ages 18 and older. Let's set up a time to talk via telephone to figure out if I am the right fit as a therapist for your daughter. If we can not journey together I will try my best to provide you with other resources to find a therapist for your child. 

Do you have a cancelation Policy?

Yes.  I ask for a minimum of 24 hours notice if you need to cancel a session.  A cancellation fee of the full amount of the service will be charged to the credit card on file if you fail to attend a scheduled session or give less than 24 hours notice of cancellation. 

What is a “psychotherapist”? What is the difference between a psychiatrist, psychologist, and psychotherapist? Are psychotherapists, counselors and therapists the same thing?

A psychotherapist is any mental health professional who provides “talk therapy” to help individuals, couples, or families to resolve a variety of issues. The terms professional counselors, therapist and psychotherapist are often used interchangably to describe the role associated with talk therapy.  Individuals that hold these titles must have a graduate degree and hold the proper professional license within their state to practice psychotherapy. The differences between professionals relate to the years of education, degree, ability (or not) to prescribe medication or to do psychological testing. A psychologist has a master’s and doctoral degree in psychology, provides talk therapy, and can also provide psychological testing. A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who has additional training in psychiatry; they specializes in treating mood disorders, can do talk therapy, and is the only clinician in the above list with the ability to prescribe medication to combat mood disorders (including depression).  All professionals above require graduate degress, many hours of clinical training, and a professional license by the state they reside in to provide you services.